Launching a website that launches innovative Irish food companies

The mission

The Food Works accelerator programme is a collaboration between three government agencies—Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, and Teagasc—designed to help high potential start up food and drink businesses launch and scale their products at speed. By the time the Foodworks team came to Neworld, the programme had already seen remarkable successes, and they were secure in their new brand identity. But they were struggling under the weight of an ageing website: hard to navigate, and even harder to update or edit behind the scenes.

They asked us to design and create a new site that was user-friendly from all sides, visually sophisticated, reflecting their new brand, inspiring and appealing to the young, energetic, entrepreneurial demographic of their target audience.

The question

When it comes to website design, should you sell a man a fish or show him how to fish?

On the user-facing side, the website needed to do a better job of conveying what Food Works could offer applicants, the timeline for applications, what companies could expect from the programme, and why they should be busting down the doors to apply. On the back end, it needed to be built on a robust, secure platform with an easy-to-use flexible CMS, and comply with GDPR and all EU legal regulations.   We knew that the back end of this website was going to be at least as important to Food Works as the beautiful front end we were working on. Like any government-funded initiative, they need to watch their budgets with an eagle eye, so we wanted to give them a website that was a flexible tool they could use, manage, and maintain themselves.

The process

We worked closely with the Food Works team to create an optimised structure for their new site, focusing on ways we could improve and simplify the navigation so that everything visitors needed to know was right there: quick and easy to access. The brand was already in place, but we were able to provide guidance and assistance on ways to extend the brand personality into photography and other imagery and infographics.

With all of this under our belts, we were ready to begin the actual production of the site, with a bespoke WordPress theme which we designed to allow Food Works admins to easily update content at will.

The transformation

By the end of the project, Food Works had a fast and responsive website, as welcoming, encouraging and helpful as the accelerator programme itself. The site is optimised for performance, SEO, and usability, with a step-by-step process to guide entrepreneurs through each year’s application process. Best of all, the team has the autonomy to run it themselves, updating application information for each new cohort and round of funding, and adding new content such as case studies, and FAQs, with the ability to upload documents and embed videos. That means that the team saves money and the site stays fresh and relevant. The result is a living, dynamic launching pad for Ireland’s most exciting food entrepreneurs.